Thursday, September 30, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Dries Van Noten

After the deep greens, blues and plums of last season, Dries Van Noten went in the other direction for spring.

But instead of the whites that dominated the New York runways, he played with pastels injected with a slouchy quality rarely seen in that color palette.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Dsquared²

Over a year ago while in a Barnes & Noble for one of my usual Read the European Fashion Magazines Because I Can't Afford to Buy Them All trips, I picked up a German magazine I had never heard of. As I flipped through its pages, I heard a small gasp coming from my right. The sound had escaped from a woman close to my age who was every bit the stereotype of a New England prep (pastels, khakis, pearls, cable knit sweater tied around shoulders). She apologized for intruding but expressed some shock at the bare breasts in the photo spread I was inspecting. From the way she spoke to me, I could tell she assumed I was shocked and offended as well. As if I had picked up the magazine not knowing what to expect. I nodded along and said nothing. Better to let her think that I had the same reaction to seeing two body parts that we, standing in that brightly lit bookstore, happened to share with the girl in the photograph. After calming down, she returned to the wedding magazines.

American society's issues with sex are well enough documented that I don't need to delve into them here. My own issues with it can be found all over this blog.

I prefer my clothes to faintly suggest that I am a sexual being.

But the clothes at Dsquared² refused to play that game.

Walking down the runway was a girl wearing all of the signposts of The American Prep, yet she exhibited a level of sexual ease, as well as comfort, that is rarely found here.

Photos via

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Versace

When certain pieces make their way down the runway, I sometimes wonder whether anyone over the age of 24 is going to want to purchase them. There is an obsession with youth at all levels of the industry. One could say that the obsession springs from the human condition, but it can be particularly acute in fashion at times. I am susceptible to it myself. In my head, and to most whom I meet, I am still a girl. In my dressing, I have been working on moving away from that notion. Learning to appreciate clothing made for women.

At Versace, women were the obvious client.

These were no little girl dresses.

Photos via

Friday, September 24, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Fendi

After the transparency of New York and the prints of London, my eye was ready for some simple vibrancy. Vibrancy stripped of the fussiness that can sometimes arise from situations that involve either too much or too little.

At Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld provided just that.

Photos via 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Jonathan Saunders

When I use the phrase It made me sit up straight, I'm not speaking in metaphor. I often make my way through the collections while in some state of repose. Today the tableau featured our living room sofa, my mustard tights, and last year's Fashion Night Out tee. I lazily tapped my right foot on the floor along with the music coming from my Pandora station. I occasionally drifted off and thought of the cover letter I need to write by Friday. Then there was Jonathan Saunders.

The barely there colors littered among shots of brights. The just enough but never too much transparency.

And then, as I have done at least once every day for nearly two weeks, I sat up straight.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Paul Smith

Pants are one of the last things that I am drawn to when I enter a store. Dresses, sweaters, shoes. These catch my eye and hold my attention. In my own collection, there are dresses of all sorts and far too many pairs of denim but real pants are barely represented. Those that I do own find themselves hidden in the deep recesses of my closet.

But Paul Smith and his pants of varying lengths and fits have me reconsidering this oversight.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Mary Katrantzou

I like my prints certain ways. Faded. Melting. Barely recalling that which they are meant to resemble. It is not often that I find myself in love with those that deal in realism.

But Mary Katrantzou, with her parade of rooms and views and facades, caused my dedication to the abstract to waver.

Photos via 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Osman

I've been fighting a case of fashion fatigue only made worse by a long and tiring week. As New York's fashion week ended and London's began, I found going through the pictures a burden. Tiresome. It took a show from London's second day to shake me out of my malaise.

Minimalism has been on the lips of the fashion populace for the past few seasons. It takes a deft hand to stop the trend from sliding into simple monotony. The restrained and sculptural pieces seen at Osman are the result of that type of hand.

Photos via

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Marchesa

A handful of years ago, a fashion couture exhibit came to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I, just leaving the preliminary stages of my fashion self-education, was excited by the prospect of seeing the clothes up close. Clothes I had only ever seen the pictures of. I stood as closely as I could. Going over the details. Stopping myself from softly touching the beading with my fingertips. Noting the sometimes sculptural aspects of the construction.

The Marchesa collection reminded me of that day.

I feel the need to have a similar experience with their dresses.

Photos via

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Rachel Roy

Some shows just jump out at you. All of a sudden, you can think of a million ways the pieces on display can be integrated into your life and wardrobe. In my case, those shows are often the ones that radiate a casual, easy luxury.

The Rachel Roy presentation was filled with those types of pieces. The ones that can easily become treasures.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Chris Benz

A few weeks ago I had to attend a friend's birthday party. I was looking forward to the festivities in general, but a more specific type of excitement kept leaking in.

I get to dress up.

The common response to my child-like anticipation, an emotion I wasn't sure I was capable of producing any longer, was but you always dress up. What I do every day (avoiding sweats, favoring skinny jeans, developing an unnatural affinity for cardigans) is not dressing up. At this point, it is somewhat of a uniform. A uniform that I am happy with but a uniform nonetheless.

However, the idea of certain clothes, of wearing them and living in them, makes me giddy. That was the case last season for Chris Benz.

And that is the case this season.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Derek Lam

Designers often try to hit on multiple trends at once. The results can be disastrous. Or, like they were at Derek Lam, they can hit that perfect, yet often unachievable, note.

The clothes were filled with the 1970s spirit that can still be seen on so many runways, but they also speak to the minimalism that is so of the moment. Spurred on by both the reality of our current situation and a reaction to the oh so decadent times of the recent past.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Tess Giberson

One of the reasons I started this series, besides providing some structure for my ingestion of the mounds of information coming out of the various fashion weeks, was to introduce myself to designers I had never heard of. Many of the ones I've learned about in the past few seasons have become personal favorites.  Tess Giberson might be added to that list.

The clothes resemble a slightly off puzzle. One where you've had to smash the pieces in order to make them fit. In the end, you create the picture you want, not the one on the box.

Photos via

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Jason Wu

Fashion Month is only two full days in, but one trend has already declared itself king. You might want to invest in some flirty underpinnings to compliment all of the sheer shirts, dresses and pants that have already made their way down the runway.

At Jason Wu, the sheer was here and there but, thankfully, not everywhere.

The 1940s, however, emanated from many of the pieces.

It's too bad that I greatly doubt my ability to pull off a turban.

Photos via

Friday, September 10, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Vena Cava

I rarely find myself all that interested in what designers list as their inspirations. At times the references are so obscure and the connection to the clothes is so flimsy, that I find whatever planted that kernel in their mind to be unnecessary for my understanding of the collection. In fact, it can often get in the way.

That was far from true in the case of the Vena Cava show. At the end of it, all I wanted was a book on the Memphis Group.

And the liquid-like silk of their dresses.

Photos via

Friday, September 3, 2010


I measure my time away from New York in various ways. Months. Seasons of Gossip Girl viewed. Number of hot dogs not consumed during numerous wanderings through SoHo. Glasses of Pinot Grigio not poured.

Fashion Weeks missed.

I draw inspiration, for what I write and how I dress, from observation. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me that the notes I took throughout school never progressed far beyond a series of bullet points. I gained more from actively listening. Facts and figures stuck in my brain, and mindlessly scribbling them down never helped me retain them. In a similar way, seeing things in the flesh, drinking them in and spending time with them, has been one of the most important ways I’ve learned about clothes. About fashion and dressing and style and all of those words that seem to mean the same thing but are vastly different.

New York City proved its own source of inspiration on a fairly regular basis, but it wasn’t the same as being surrounded so fully as I was then. During those seasons where I got to attend very few or no shows at all, sitting in Bryant Park with an iced coffee was enough. Doing that thing where I stare at people’s shoes. Taking in the quirky and over the top and eccentric alongside the minimalist and reserved and subtle. Standing on a subway platform with my heels in hand and watching a model remove the makeup from her face. It gave me a chance to experiment with my own choices. To find new combinations for things that had been sitting in my closet for ages. I complained and griped and seriously considered throwing my eyeliner on an open flame much as I had contemplated burying my Calculus textbook years earlier, but it was all part of the learning experience. The complete and total breakdown that sometimes occurs before epiphany.

And so I miss it. I can sit in my leggings and eat snacks and watch shows with my computer on my lap, but it doesn’t compare to the energy that flows through a space as the lights dim and then rise again. I don’t smell the just applied coat of paint.

My ears don’t ring from the ferocity of the bass.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flip Flop

As we find ourselves in day I don’t know how many it’s been, but it’s fucking hot of this heat wave, I’ve continued to think of fall. I spent most of yesterday having daydreams about the type of weather that would allow me to wear my chambray shorts with brightly hued tights (mustard yellow or dusty rose) and ballet flats. Two days earlier, my glove obsession reappeared out of nowhere. Well not nowhere. These helped.

As did these.

Yet last week, near the tail end of the rains, all I wanted were sundresses and shorts and the espadrilles that I’ve gone all of spring and summer without wearing once.

It’s the feeling of the season. That restlessness that comes as everything moves between changing and staying exactly as it was. I, and everyone else who spends an abundance of time talking and thinking about clothes, have a tendency to overuse the phrase transitional piece. Those items, the sweater jackets and booties and medium-weight knits, are really pieces that fit everywhere and nowhere all at once. That deal adeptly with the sometimes schizophrenic tendencies of the wasteland that exists between seasons.

We hate the heat, but we’ll miss it when it’s gone.

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